The man hailed the taxi outside the archives office. It was raining, so the man pulled his hooded coat over his head and hunched his shoulders. He hailed the first taxi he saw with his hand. He climbed in and the taxi driver asked him the one question that all taxi drivers ask,
"Where ya headed?" he asked. Instead of telling the driver, he produced a card with the address printed on it.
"Well okay then," he said and sped off into the pouring rain.
"So...what do you do?" the taxi driver asked. An innocent enough question, the man thought, but not one that he was in the position to answer. Responding to the silence the taxi driver said,
"Not the talkative type eh? Oh well, want me to put the radio on?" he asked again. Again he was met with the man's silence, but the man this time responded with a definite shake of the head.
"Well okay then," he said and stopped talking. The man breathed a sigh of relief, he was afraid that he would have had to shut the driver up. The man looked around the taxi. It was the classic 'yellow cab'; the inside was relatively clean, not much dirt anywhere. The windows were covered with fingerprints, made by the endless numbers of kids that found amusement in covering the window with their tiny hands. His gaze drifted to the front of the cab, there was a radio, and underneath that there was the meter. It was an old style meter, it looked rather crass, but it didn't matter, it did its job. He stared at the meter, watching it tick over. Every hundred meters it ticked up another fifty cents. It wasn't the cheapest cab ever, but there wasn't much of a choice and...